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Poster: N Hoey Date: Jun 9, 2012 1:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reckoning

Well it isn't entirely without signifiers, at least to me anyway. If you listen to the 1970 acoustic stuff, their vintage Martin guitars are miked. It sounds like real guitars in a natural acoustic space. Of course that setup is much more difficult to deal with as far as volume and feedback problems with the monitors etc. but it does sound warmer and more euphonic when dialed in.

In 1980 they had those Takamine acoustics that had an internal pickup. Both Dave Nelson and Dave Grisman in interviews expressed some frustration with Jerry's preference for the Takamine throughout the 80s and would always be pushing him to play his vintage Martin instead. As Grisman says, "he was using these extra-light strings that sounded like rubber bands, practically".
Yep. That is why I can't quite warm up to the 1980 acoustic stuff. Well that and Hart's congas...

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 10, 2012 11:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reckoning: finally receives its reckoning!

I kept biting my tongue, holding back...holding back...no, I will NOT be the nay sayer here, I will not chime in with the usual "are you kidding?" (better than 1970). It's not just the vocals this time, or the youthful energy, it's the frickin GUITARS!!!

Thanks for pointing out this HUGE problem...never could play the thing thru...yikes. Mind you, this was IN the early 80s, as the live albums of 1980/81 (whatever it was) were my last purchases before my hiatus of 82-05, so it wasn't because I'd become the myopic "early era is better fanatic" as you all know me...

Blah.

Sorry, raining on EVERYONE's parade it seems.

NOTHING personal all you lovers of latter acoustic stuff!

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jun 11, 2012 7:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reckoning: finally receives its reckoning!

I'll back you up here - when I first heard this record I was a little taken aback. The guitar sound is twangy, like "rubber bands". No one would compare this to 70s GD, or claim it as good or better... but in hindsight, this is still a cool album to put on... it's Jerry getting back to his roots, in the midst of all those "silky, crazy nights. As I've noted, this is Brent's finest IMO... but they sure could have done without the lackadaisical Monkey and the Engineer - what a piece of drivel.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Jun 11, 2012 10:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reckoning: finally receives its reckoning!

Thanks for understanding, uj; really felt bad about that one...ie, being negative and all, what with how happy, upbeat and down right warm and fuzzy the Forum has been, who needs that, ya know? But, I yam what I yam, as they say.

I didn't know at the time, even though my DEAD coverband experience should've clued me right away, but it all made a lot of sense when I heard explanations/comments later (it really points out how the techno aspects can have v lg effects, eh? Seriously; something that would seem almost trivial at one level...).

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Poster: yesss! Date: Jun 9, 2012 11:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Reckoning

yeah, i agree on the miked guitars sounding warmer and more live on the recordings from '70 (can't argue with a vintage martin). and the sound quality on "reckoning" is noticeably from a later era as well. but, to the average listener, the overall sound of "reckoning" is far more neutral than most other GD recordings. "anthem" is clearly from the psychedelic '60's, "shakedown st." is clearly from the disco era, etc, but "reckoning", with it's traditional acoustic instrumentation and no-frills production, doesn't intentionally align itself with any temporary trend. i think that electric keyboards and electric guitars, which can sound radically different depending on the technology, tend to be far easier to date than acoustic instruments. but, yeah, garcia's "acoustic" guitar was essentially an electric in the 80's. not as rich sounding, but probably a lot easier to play.